How to start freelancing
How to start freelancing ?? Freelancers are independent workers who earn wages on a per-job or per-task basis, usually for short-term work. The benefits of freelancing include the freedom to work from home or non-traditional workplaces, flexible work schedules, and a better work-life balance.
Becoming a freelancer is an exciting move for your career. You are embarking on a new adventure where you will be able to decide for yourself what, when and where you work.
It’s also an incredible new challenge and you need to learn everything you need to know about running your own business.
are you ready?
Use this guide to determine if you’re ready to become a freelancer
Additional Terms for Freelancers
Not everyone uses the word “freelancer” or “freelancer” when it comes to the jobs a freelancer might do. In fact, even most freelancers refer to themselves as “self-employed.”
So, other terms you might need to know about freelancing include:
Contract work: work you work to perform a short-term or part-time contract
Contract workers: Same as above.
Independent Contractors: Here’s How the IRS Classifies Freelancers
1099: Freelancers get paid using a tax form called a “1099-MISC” instead of the typical full-time W2. Sometimes “1099” is used to refer to freelancers.
Contract Consultants: This term refers to consultants who come in under a 1099 contract for a short period of time.
Employment Contract: Sometimes freelancers are interested in full-time work. Contract employment roles provide a kind of “testing period” for freelancers before being hired full-time.
How do freelancers work?
Freelancers accept payment in exchange for providing some kind of service. The agreement is usually part-time or short-term.
For example, if I hire a photographer to take a new headshot for me, I can pay a freelancer for that shoot and it’s over.
Sometimes people pay freelancers to work a certain number of hours per week or month. This arrangement is often referred to as a “retainer”.
A retainer is your right to reserve a service or reserve someone’s time. Many legal professionals work on retainers. Every month, they charge customers a certain amount of time, whether or not the full time is used.
This is indeed one of the simplest and purest forms of entrepreneurship: freelancers provide a specific service or outcome, and buyers pay them directly.
What type of work can I do by freelancing?
Companies are becoming more open and interested in hiring freelancers who do many different types of jobs. As a result, freelancing has become more acceptable for a wide variety of roles.
Step 1 : Get the right equipment
When you are desperate, you make terrible choices and decisions. This is why I always advise against starting a freelance job to make a quick buck.
Freelancing is not a get rich quick scheme. It requires a lot of hard work. In fact, it took me around 4 years to earn a steady income as a freelancer.
I often receive questions from freelancers asking if there is work they can do using just a smartphone. The quick answer is there are none. At least not ones that are worth doing.
Smartphone apps are limited in features. You need a computer to run software that are required for doing the work properly and delivering great results.
So, before you go ahead and think about working online, go get yourself a laptop or even an old computer would do the trick.
Also, make sure to read the article suggestions below before going any further.
2. Get the skills
The easiest way to go freelance is to choose a job that uses the skills you already have. But if that’s not possible for you, you’ll need to be willing to upskill. Here are a few places you can start to gain the skills you need.
- Websites to Help You Learn a New Freelance Skill
- 10 Learning Platforms Solopreneurs Will Love
- Learning to Code to Level Up Your Freelancing Career
Step 3: Improve your skills
Once you’ve found a marketable skill, you should make sure you can offer it as a service. In short, you need to be really good at what you do to get paid.
For example, let’s say you want to become a freelance writer for a health and wellness blog. This category is in good demand. You also have experience writing about it in school or college.
However, that doesn’t mean you can write blog posts for an online audience. Blogs and online publications use very different writing styles and article formats. Mainly to appeal to the general audience.
So now you need to learn how to write blog posts for an online audience. Learn how to use WordPress. How to make graphics for articles. and more.
All the other freelance skills out there are the same. You can’t just jump right in without even trying to learn the basics. You have to hone your skills first.
Also, taking online courses is the most effective way to properly learn and polish up a skill. Check the links below for recommendations.
- Making the plan
- Quitting your job
- Finding work
- Promoting yourself
- Getting started: the freelance essentials
Step 4. Tips for finding work as a freelancer
These five articles provide tips on how to go about your job search, with hacks and suggestions of what you can be doing to make finding freelance work easier.
- Find Freelance Clients Fast With This Checklist
- Forget Freelance Sites: Connect with Other Freelancers to Find New Jobs
- The Top 10 Ways to Find Freelance Work
- 5 Intuitive Ways You Should Be Finding Freelance Work
- 4 Pro Tips On Finding More Freelance Gigs
5. Package your skills into a service offering
Selecting your skills was just step one of starting a freelance business – next you’ll need to sell them.
How would you actually use those skills for someone else?
What is the service you provide with those skills?
It’s a fine line, but it’s an important distinction.
Writing is a skill and email copywriting is a service.
Coding is a skill and creating custom mobile apps is a service.
In order to sell your skills, you need to think of them as a service.
Step 6 : Find The Right freelancing platforms
Here are a few sites that you can try for freelancing jobs:
- Fiverr: the world’s largest marketplace to look for freelance jobs. Just create an account post what you can do, add few links and you’re done.
- 99Designs: A perfect place to find freelancing jobs if you’re a designer.
- Upwork: Upwork is a more professional looking freelance marketplace where you’ll find more business clients.
- Freelancer.com: Freelancer.com is among the oldest freelance job marketplace which you can choose in your initial year when you have little or no freelance experience.
Working on a few gigs from these sites helps in understanding how freelancing as a job goes along and helps you get the hang of it.
But before heading to these freelance websites, you need to set up a freelance brand for yourself. Follow these steps for the same –
- Decide what services you’ll offer
- Determine your target market
- Find the platforms (freelancing websites) you’ll be serving on. Choose a uniform username on all of them. It helps you build your brand identity.
- Decide your rates
- Create an online portfolio on your niche-specific portfolio platforms; GitHub for developers, Behance for designers, etc. We also suggest you create a personal portfolio website to showcase your skills and talent.
- Market your services: market on social media, offer something for free or at a very less cost (helps in getting more traction), ask for referrals, and use email marketing .
We don’t suggest you leave your existing source of income and jump into freelancing per se. Try it as a part-time venture to see how it works out for you in the initial months.
It is entirely not necessary that you have to freelance full time. It is up to you to decide on whether you’d like to do it full time or keep your existing job and make a buck during your free time.
If you feel that you really like the way the things are headed, it’s time to move onto the next step.
Once you feel that you can provide for yourself and work this way, the next course of action is to take on multiple assignments for multiple streams of revenue. This should include gigs that you got personally using methods mentioned above as well as from the freelancing sites.
Another possibility is that you could make it a full-time gig. Freelancing full time also means you can create diverse forms of income. You can:
- Negotiate monthly retainers
- Negotiate commissions on sales projects
- Create referral systems to reward clients who send you new clients
- Market yourself directly: Here’s a helpful guide on marketing and creating a perfect personal branding for yourself.
6 : Promoting yourself
As a freelancer, you’re no longer just focused on providing your core services. You also need to become good at selling yourself. This means presenting a professional image of yourself online, writing great proposals and applications, and getting good at talking about what you do. This doesn’t always come easy to new freelancers, so here is some information to help.
Your online image
Having an online presence is an absolute necessity these days if you want to look professional. Your website is a place where you can share the kinds of skills you have and previous work you have created, to give potential clients an insight into what they’d be able to get from you. It’s also an opportunity to share information about the clients you’ve worked with previously, to provide ‘social proof’ that you’re trustworthy and reliable. Never created a website before? Not a problem. You don’t need a fancy website to promote yourself. Here’s how to create the perfect business website.
You’ll also need some additional marketing materials outside of your website.
Looking professional from the outset
When you’re just getting started, it might be difficult to know what to include on your website. Perhaps you don’t have a ton of previous clients or a portfolio to share. But there are a few tricks you can use to make your business look bigger than it is. Take a look at these articles for some help:
Writing great pitches
You’re about to start spending a lot of time pitching for work, especially while you’re starting out and building up a name for yourself. On websites where freelance jobs are listed you’ll be competing with many other freelancers, so it’s important to get good at this, fast. Take a look at these articles for tips on how to promote yourself appropriately so you can land more jobs.
You can rely on this free course on Udemy to improve your skills, learn about the field of freelancer, and follow your career path to reach financial freedom. Become A Freelancer